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Midnight at the Boar's Head
Published on Monday, 09 July 2012
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Zoo Southside (venue website)
Theatre
3-14, 16-27 Aug, 8:15pm-9:20pm

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

Frequented by Falstaff and, who knows, perhaps by the Bard himself, the Boar’s Head tavern in Cheapside is the historical setting for this boisterous Shakespeare remix.  The words are almost all William’s, but the storyline certainly isn’t; plundering lines of dialogue from across the Complete Works, the Fine Chisel theatre company’s brand-new play features beer-swilling, foot-stomping, and fusillade of party poppers.  Sacrilege?  Maybe.  But it’s rollicking good fun, all the same.

Admittedly, it won’t be easy to conjure an Elizabethan tavern in the canteen-like setting of Zoo Southside’s cabaret bar... but if their earlier run at the Brighton Fringe is any guide, their live folk music will soon get you clapping your hands and singing along.  The Brighton show was a five-star masterpiece, wrote our reviewer Naomi Dixon, reaching out to those unfamiliar with Shakespeare’s work and still showing Bardic admirers a thoroughly good time.

And Fine Chisel do have a fine pedigree at the Fringe; last year’s (tenuous) reworking of The Winter’s Tale was “charming, witty and ridiculously entertaining”, according to our resident Shakespeare buff Ellen Macpherson.  If you’re looking for something a bit more conventional, they’re also reprising their 2010 play Firing Blanks over at Zoo’s main venue, while their brand-new show Unplugged promises further chaos back in the cabaret bar.  As for Midnight at the Boar’s Head, expect to be called on to join in the madness… and expect to leave with a smile on your face, after a joyful rollercoaster of a show.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


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The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


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The House of Shadows


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Briefs


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Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


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Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


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A Clockwork Orange


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Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


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1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


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Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


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The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


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How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


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The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


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Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


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Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


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4.48 Psychosis


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As You Like It


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Appointment With The Wicker Man


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Jessie Cave: Bookworm


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Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


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Hearts on Fire


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Rainbow


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Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


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Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


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Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


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John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger